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DR Congo president calls for national mobilization against rebels

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Democratic Republic Of Congo

The president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on Thursday called for a national mobilization against the armed aggression by the rebels of the March 23 Movement (M23).

President Felix Tshisekedi made the remark on the occasion of the celebration of the 62nd anniversary of the country's independence on June 30, 1960.

A recent resurgence of the M23 rebels has escalated tensions and conflict in the eastern DRC, leading to a dramatic increase in civilian casualties and displacement..

During the third East African Community (EAC) Heads of State conclave on June 20, leaders agreed to deploy a regional force to stabilize and secure peace in the DRC.

On the other hand, the remains of Congo´s independence hero and first Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba were laid to rest in Kinshasa Thursday amid honors including a procession through the capital, military salutes and music in front of thousands of people.

Congo´s President Felix Tshisikedi saluted Lumumba, calling him a humanist who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country.

"Today, the Congolese people are able to understand how and why he fought the oppression of the time without fear or trembling," said Tshisikedi.

Lumumba was interred in a Chinese-built mausoleum topped by a towering statue in a central square in Kinshasa. The ceremony was attended by diplomats and dignitaries including President Denis Sassou N´guesso of the neighboring Republic of Congo who mingled in the courtyard in front of the mausoleum. Lumumba was buried with a military salute and then his family was given time alone with him.

The ceremony was held on Congo´s Independence Day, marking when the country became independent from Belgium in 1960. Lumumba is widely hailed as the nationalist activist who helped to end colonial rule. He became the country´s first prime minister and was assassinated within a year in 1961.

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